Fjöruborðið serves its lobster soup, known as the best in the country, in the South Coast village of Stokkseyri, a mere 45-minute drive from Reykjavík.
The setting is easygoing and there is no need to worry about any faux pas in lobster eating etiquette, yet there is atmosphere enough for President Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson to enjoy romantic dinners with his Dorrit in the corner table.
As soon as we take our seats, home-baked bread with tarragon yogurt and sweet garlic sauce are brought to the table. Unlike myself (“What is your house wife…wine?”), our waiter is brilliantly on top of things throughout the meal and us diners are safely held in the grip of his claws. His service features a perfect balance between relaxed and polite and his smile does not fade for one second, no matter my accidental enquiries regarding his marital status.
Of course, we start with the famous soup (1.390 ISK) and it is very good, with tomatoes, succulent chunks of soft lobster tail and – as the lyrical menu enthuses, “charm & passion” – the soup is creamy and full of flavour.
For the main dish, I choose lobster grilled in garlic butter (3.240 ISK for 250g). The tiny tails come in their shells, causing a steady beat of cracks and cricks to fill the restaurant as the patrons fight their way through the armour. The taste is rich and making a mess is fun. The accompaniments (790 ISK for couscous, cucumber salad, tomato chunks, potatoes and green salad) do not quite meet the flavours of the lobster; the vinegar in the cucumber salad is too strong and the couscous tastes plain when put next to the soft, rich lobster meat.
My date’s lamb fillet with potatoes and vegetables (3.990 ISK) was well cooked, but crusted with a tomato-y tapenade that overpowered the flavour of the meat itself. While the seafood chefs tackled the red meat passably and the menu has something for everyone, from children to vegetarians, it is most definitely the lobster that one should order at Fjöruborðið.
“It is langoustine,” insists my date, inspecting the crustaceans with the enthusiasm of David Attenborough. Indeed, it is Nephrops norvegicus, also referred to as langoustine, scampi, Norwegian Lobster or Dublin Bay Prawn, a small creature rarely larger than 20 cm in length.
Be it langoustine or lobster, the famous soup was delicious. Whether it really deserves the reputation as the best in the country, I am not quite sure, as Sægreifinn in Reykjavík and Rauða Húsið in the neighboring village of Eyrarbakki boil down a beautiful bisque too. What I am sure though is that the service at Fjöruborðið was the best I have experienced in a long time
- Where: Fjöruborðið, Eyrarbraut 3A, Stokkseyri
- What we think: Good soup, great service.
- Web: www.fjorubordid.is